Jaxon Evans has taken victory in the first race of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Surfers Paradise weekend, while championship leader David Wall produced a stunning drive to extend his points margin.
The race started behind the safety car in torrential rain and Evans quickly got to business as he pounced on Nick McBride on the opening lap before making a bold move at turn eleven to pass Andre Heimgartner.
From this point on all Evans could see in his mirrors was the spray from his car as he pulled out a 10.5 second gap to record the largest ever victory for a Carrera Cup race at the Gold Coast street circuit.
Living only 20 minutes north from the circuit, the local driver was happy to record his fourth win of the season.
“It’s awesome and I can’t thank the McElrea boys for tuning up the car before we went out,” Evans said.
“We weren’t sure what to expect, but to get to the lead and pull a pretty handy margin was pretty special. To do it here on my home soil is even better.”
David Wall put in an impressive performance as he worked his way through the field from fifth place through to second over the shortened 10-lap battle; despite the race being curtailed, the action wasn’t and included several side-by-side moments on the narrow street circuit between the championship contenders Wall and Heimgartner. This battle was decided on the final run to the finish line as Wall out-dragged his rival to beat him by just 0.03 seconds.
The result means Wall extends his championship lead to 68 points ahead of Heimgartner, with 120 points still available for the remaining two races on Sunday.
Outside of the podium battle Dylan O’Keeffe moved from seventh to fourth place, finishing not far from the back of title battle between Wall and Heimgartner. Michael Almond took fifth place with Cam McConville in sixth.
The top ten was rounded out by Garth Walden, Nick McBride, Brenton Grove and Alex Davison, who had run as high as fourth place before being forced to take the escape road at turn eleven; Davison’s tenth place finish means he is out of the battle to take the championship.
In the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge Stephen Grove took his twelfth victory of the season ahead of three-time Challenge champion Max Twigg. Twigg started four places behind the class winner but battled his way through the field to close up to within one second at the finish line. Dean Cook took the final podium position.
“I think they are some of the wettest conditions I have ever experienced. You’re trying to stay off the white lines, trying to see through the spray and it was really tough,” Grove said.
“The process for me was to try and build a gap, which I did, and then just managed it to make sure that we finished.”
Despite the extreme weather conditions there was only one driver who didn’t finish the race, James Abela was forced to head back to the pit lane with a broken steering whilst involved in a battle for seventh and eighth place on lap four.
With two races remaining on the calendar it looks like David Wall has done enough for the championship, but the Enduro title is still up for grabs!